Big Picture, Simple Execution, Strong Vision

January 21, 2009

20070514-toyota-logoToyota may move to the number 1 automaker in the world in 2009, replacing GM.  They did this by continuing to see the big picture, work to sell globally, and produce cars that met or exceeded customer demands.  They didn’t use any crazy schemes, remarkable innovations, or cut throat marketing.

Early in its history, Google became the most popular search engine, moving past Yahoo.  They did this by creating a faster, more accurate search engine than we had seen before.  And though this takes a lot of research and innovative technology, it is basically just offering a service that people needed; one that was easier to use.

My point here is that a company does not have to execute any major, outside the box, strategy to succeed.  The most successful, long lasting companies in the world have done one thing consistently: Give customers what they need/want.  Whether it’s Google, Toyota, Apple, FedEx, IBM, or your small business.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, right now it means simplifying your vision to get through the recession.  It means concentrating on one or two things that you do well, and building on them.  Define what your customers need from you and give it to them, no questions asked.  If you do this, you’ll keep clients, it’s as simple as that.

In the future, it means establishing a set of core principles or values that you are going to stick to.  If you believe in offering the latest technology enhancements to your products, don’t cut corners or your customers will call you out on it.  If you believe in following up on your sales with superior service and maintenance, don’t hire weak support staff.  Look at the big picture, see what you need to do to succeed, and do it.  You’ll get in more trouble and take on greater risk by changing philosophies, changing industries, or changing strategies unnecessarily.

And this same idea that works in the business world can work for Barack Obama.

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations, you’ve made it.  Time to get to work.  You’re running the show and the people expect certain things from you.  So make the government work for us, and start to execute the things you’ve promised.  If you give us what you said you’d give us, we’ll love you for it.  If you carry out as we expect, the world can move forward.  Like a strong company, this country will only work with clear vision and leadership, core values and principles, and simple, straightforward execution.

Sometimes innovation comes from doing what’s right, and what is needed.

Signed,
Zach Heller, “Be Innovation”

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Innovative Business Masterminds

November 25, 2008

inovasi_4When you’re ready to stop talking innovation, and start doing it…

IBM basically stole their tagline from my blog, but I’m not complaining.  They could have thrown a little credit my way, but I don’t expect it.  Why this blog is not part of IBM’s group of blogs is beyond me.

Innovative Business Masterminds.  It’s not what IBM stands for, but it might as well be.  And by masterminds, I mean both the actual machines that they produce, but also the systems they have in place, and the people behind the scenes.  IBM is a brilliant company that supports the success and development of many other companies.  As they rise, we rise.

Between the research that they do, the computer systems and data technology that they produce, and the corporate technology consulting business, IBM has long established their place in the world economy.  And now, IBM is taking action in an area that is of interest to me.

Project Blue Spruce is a new collaboration platform that IBM is currently working on as part of a move into online collaboration and social networking.  The goal is to set up an easy to use platform for anyone to meet and collaborate online.  Differing from existing web based platforms, this will be a completely shared environment that you can access with a server and a browser.  You’ll be able to download and share all tools and capabilities associated with the space, and work with people anywhere in the world.

This fits in with their plan to develop social networking tools for business that they announced earlier this year.  This shift is one that is both necessary, and brilliant.  IBM will originally use their social network developments to interact within the company, their partners, and their customers.  This will give them a real life testing agent, as well as help them collaborate to make new systems more useful and intuitive.

I am a huge proponent of collaborative work.  In my opinion, working with others is the best way to develop truly innovative and new ideas.  And social media has taken us into an era where online collaboration is easier than ever before.  As internet access continues to open up to the masses, and physical distance becomes irrelevant, technologies like this will allow us to do anything we want to do.  The future is one of mass innovation, collaboration, and change.  And IBM is helping to take us there.

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